PA Consulting has been awarded the contract to support the upcoming merger of NHS Digital, NHSX, and Health Education England (HEE) with NHS England and Improvement.

The notice, which was published on April 4, states the contract has a value of between just under £2million and £5million and runs from February 2022 until October 2022.

According to the notice, PA Consulting will “work collaboratively with the in-house team to support the preparation” of the merger, which was first announced in November 2021.

The description adds that the “initial phase of work is expected to take between 6-9 months” which can be split into “three key areas”.

These key areas include:

  • Overall programme management
  • Creating a detailed assessment of the existing functions of NHS Digital, NHSX and HEE
  • Organisational design work to determine how the four organisations will come together in a way that is aligned with NHS England and Improvement’s overall future operating model

Confirmation of the merger was revealed in a letter to staff from NHS England and Improvement’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, in November 2021.

Then in February 2022, more details began to emerge as it was announced that Simon Bolton, the current interim CEO at NHS Digital, will become the interim CIO at NHS England and Improvement.

Bolton will be joined at NHS England and Improvement by Hugh McCaughey, national director of improvement at NHS England and Improvement, plus a new medical director for secondary care and transformation, “a joint post with Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national medical director”.

While roles of Dave Turner, NHS Digital and NHSX’s chief technology and Sonia Patel, NHSX’s chief information officer, are being merged, with Dave Turner becoming chief technology officer for NHSX and for NHS Digital on an interim basis. Patel will instead get the new title of director of levelling-up digital and system CIO.